Are Millennials really that unique and different? How are they reshaping the workplace as we know it? What changes does a company need to make?
Firstly, let's look at this popular term. There is no exact birthday of it, but after Generation X, researchers established that people born in early 1980s to mid-1990s and reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century would be known as Generation Y, Generation Me, the Snowflake Generation, Echo Boomers or the Peter Pan Generation.
Unique? Precise? Fragile like a snowflake? Or to paraphrase Chuck Palahniuk, the same organic matter as everyone else? Sometimes they are called tech-savvy, networking, creative, open-minded, flexible, enviro-friendly with social-liberal views and sometimes also not that flattering: selfish, entitled, lazy, unhappy, impatient, unsettled or politically apathetic.
One thing is for sure: they are changing the workplace as their parents, the Baby Boomer Generation, knew it. Let's unfold 5 demands they ask for and that describe this change in the most accurate way in our opinion and examples of companies that have delivered!
1. Millennials seek to work for ethical, trustworthy and green companies
For the third year in a row, In 2016 Dell was named among the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. The framework looked into ethics and compliance programs, corporate citizenship and responsibility, culture of ethics, governance, leadership, innovation and reputation. In 2012, Dell launched a 2020 Legacy of Good Plan as a commitment to sustainability. It includes 21 strategic and tangible goals towards the environment, communities and people. The Ethisphere's list featured many tech giants, like Microsoft and Cisco. Many of the tech brands seen on this 10th annual list are even regulars. It’s no coincidence that tech-savvy Millennials want to work there.
2. They put an emphasis on work-life balance, not a strong corporate approach
As a part of Glassdoor's online company review survey, employees voluntarily and anonymously share what their job and company is like when it comes to work-life balance. Adjectives that are repeated in the top reviews are: employee-focused, innovative, flexible, youthful and laid back. Just what Millennials are looking for.
3. They like to brainstorm, work in a team, be supervised and mentored and be acknowledged for their work
Money is not as important for Gen Y as it was for the previous generation. Most of them prefer to enjoy their life rather than saving for retirement; they travel, use credit cards a lot and delay “adulting”. Why? They have seen many terminations of long-term careers in their families and the effect this had on lives. If they want to commit to a company, they need to have the feeling they are acknowledged money-wise and talent-wise. They do not want to work for you; they want to work with you. Let's look at Round Table Pizza. Is this article getting cheesy? 🙂 Wait until you hear about their success story. The company was founded with just $1,800 by William Larson in 1959. Today it has around 450 locations, supports a collaborative and sustainable environment, franchising, is family friendly and a 100% employee-owned enterprise (ESOP). Employees can participate in the ESOP after they have worked for the company for one year or 1,000 hours. “When they go into the program, each year there is a percentage of their compensation that they earn in stock, and that is put into a retirement account,” says Jim Robertson, vice president of human resources and franchise operations.
4. They like to contribute, volunteer, fundraise or even take a gap year abroad
Fleming., the organizer of the Smart Workspace Design Summit, supports the idea of “giving back” too. We continuously support dog shelters with donations, organize charity clothing drives, donate to several schools, NGOs, children's homes and support catastrophes like the Nepal earthquake. Recently, we started to work with Plamienok – Home Care Hospice for Children. Moreover, every employee is welcome to suggest any social activity.
5. They prefer a short tenure in the company
The average is two years. Try to compare this to the Baby Boomers, with some surveys stating that 40% of them have stayed with one employer for more than 20 years. However, maybe it will change with time and as they grow older. For example, with the previously mentioned Round Table Pizza, the longer you are with the company, the bigger share you'll have. Employee retention and pride of employment there are very good.
Be prepared for more changes… Generation Z is coming to your workplace soon!
Find out more about this topic at conferences that are part of #SWDS
PS: This article was written by a proud Millennial 🙂